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STEREO EMBERS SINGLE/LYRIC VIDEO PREMIER – “Baby” from Dutch wunderkind Monokino

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We swear to you, despite the protestations anatomists or neurologists or whoever will throw your way in an effort to debunk it, that there are sprockets in your mind that begin to instantly – and not a little wildly – spin the moment you hear certain sounds. It might be the gurgle of your baby, the cry of a meadowlark, the sound of your own name spoken by your lover, but whatever the trigger there’s nothing like it. For however brief a moment, everything – and we mean everything – seems right in your world and gravity barely exists. You’re transported, ecstatic, you’re in another realm. Yet the thing is, those examples given and many others besides, are generally quite fleeting, which is why we believe that the only place to experience the absolute apotheosis of this phenomenon is in the pop song. Not just any pop song, of course, but ones with the hooks, the suss, the utter panache to stop you in their tracks before making you burst forth in a flail of uninhibited dancing that would shame your entire family.  One, in short, with a level of top pop intelligence that allows you to (in the best way possible) completely lose your sh*t while maintaining your dignity. It’s a sort of magic, really, one that derives from possessing both an insatiably primal dance juggernaut of a beat in stride with razor-sharp production values, and we’re here today to bring you exactly one such insta-classic, the latest from Dutch producer George van Wetering, better known as Monokino.

On a par with simmering dance floor burners such as Placebo’s “You Don’t Care About Us,” Moby’s “Play” and even “(You Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thing,” “Baby,” the fourth track to be released ahead of their third album expected later this year, dispenses almost entirely with the lush and/or provocative and/or atmospheric synth foundations that have frequently underscored their previous work (which, btw, has seen them working with Tony Visconti and Kristeen Young not to mention Jacco Gardner) and plunges with near-abandon into a full-out rock-based assault (with proper pop touches, mind). The result is nothing short of addictive, a statement I can absolutely confirm seeing as, in the course of writing this piece, it’s been necessary to go back and hit ‘repeat’ a dozen or more times and not only has the thing yet to lose a single ounce of its drive but has grabbed my attention each time as if it’s my first time hearing it. Exaggeration? Well, I dunno, you tell me. I mean, yes, the visual certainly helps matters here, created by the artist himself and consisting entirely of ASCII characters that accentuate the track’s pulsing – and propulsive – nature but truly, heard outside the visual context? A brutally efficient, beautifully effective 2 minutes 37 seconds of charging audio bliss. While passingly aware of Monokino as their profile has grown over the past decade – my bad, maybe, but really, there’s just SO much to try and stay abreast of; we’re all doing our best – with the release of “Baby” they have, in this writer, a fan for life. [“Baby” releases Friday, April 1st]